March 5. 2024. 8:27

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Hungary vows to fight in EU court to defend anti-LGBT law

Hungary’s Justice Minister said late on Wednesday (8 March) that Budapest would fight in the Court of Justice of the EU to defend an education law that Brussels says discriminates against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Justice Minister Judit Varga said in a Facebook post she had submitted a counter claim to the court because the government would stick to its stance that education was a matter for national governments to decide.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s anti-LGBT campaign escalated in June 2021 when the parliament, dominated by his Fidesz party, passed a law banning the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools.

Portrayal and promotion – Hungary’s LGBTQI+ law explained

Controversy over a new Hungarian law banning LGBTQI+ references for minors is set to be raised by several EU leaders during their 24-25 June summit, originally intended to focus on foreign policy issues. But what is this law, and how does it fit into the Hungarian government’s anti-LGBT agenda? EURACTIV’s media partner Telex takes a closer look.

The government has said the law aimed to protect children, not target the LGBT community.

“Just as we have done so far, we will go to the wall if it’s about protecting our children,” Varga said, adding that uphold the legislation was necessary and further measures would be taken. She did not specify what they would be.

The standoff comes at a time when Brussels has suspended the disbursement of billions of euros of much-needed EU funds to Hungary until Budapest implements reforms to improve judicial independence and tackle corruption.

The European Commission referred Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU over the anti-LGBT law in mid-2022.

European Commission goes after Hungary in salvo of proceedings

The Commission on Friday (15 July) started an infringement procedure against Hungary for its discriminatory fuel price policy and took Budapest to EU court over a law banning LGBTQ content to minors and the closure of an independent radio station.

The commission has said it considers that the law violates the EU’s internal market rules, the fundamental rights of individuals and EU values.

Orbán said in a speech last month, defending the legislation: “Gender propaganda is not just … rainbow chatter, but the greatest threat stalking our children. We want our children to be left alone …. This kind of thing has no place in Hungary, and especially not in our schools.”